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Maintaining Confidentiality in a Group Essay Sample

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Maintaining Confidentiality in a Group Essay Sample

Maintaining a level of confidentiality, in a group, is an important component. It is always best to be up front with group members about the level of confidentiality that is expected from each member. This writer has facilitated many groups. Some of these groups were in an institutional setting and some were in public places such as a park. There are many aspect of confidentiality that one should consider before taking a group to a park. Confidentiality is a key component to being able to maintain a group in a park setting and have the outcome positive. When this writer was facilitating a process group, for the Salvation Army, she found that by taking the group across the street to the local public park was beneficial in more ways than one.

This writer had been wanting to have a release session with her group. This session requires being able to release helium balloons with the group members personal issues that they had been carrying around and could not bring themselves to talk about it with anyone. Some of the other members of the recovery home wanted to join in as soon as they had heard about the session. However, space was limited to just the members of the group that this writer facilitated. During sessions that occurred prior to the release session each member had voted to have the session. The thinking was that, although one should discuss things with their sponsor, there were things in life that they could not bring themselves to talk about.

The release session enabled the group members to get their secrets out without anybody but themselves and their higher power knowing what that was. This writer believes that once the release was done, the talking about what was on the balloon would become easier for the group members to discuss during their individual sessions with their counselors. Additionally, each member would be able to let go of a secret that they had been carrying and suffering from. There were to be no names on the balloons. The only thing to be written was that one secret. That way if the balloon ever came back down, there would be no chance of anybody knowing what the writing meant. This exercise worked and we were able to maintain a level of confidentiality within the group.

The exercise also brought the group members closer together. After the session group members seemed to be more at ease with each other as if they had formed some kind of brotherhood. There was a sense of comradery amongst the group that was amazing to for this writer to witness. The group understood why confidentiality was important and they respected the rule of confidentiality for the group. The group members were also able to get rid of some of the baggage that had been keeping them from moving on with their lives. Nothing else about keeping the group’s confidentiality ever came up. The only thing that this writer had to answer for really was the impact on the environment a bunch of helium balloons would have.

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